Eccleston bid to build on strong start to Palace Shield season

Eccleston player-chairman Iain Bradley
Eccleston player-chairman Iain Bradley

Eccleston player-chairman Iain Bradley is hoping the club can continue to be upwardly mobile in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.

The men from Doctors Lane sit on top of the table after a fine start to the summer which has seen them win their opening two games.

Now in their second season in the top flight after winning promotion in 2016, Bradley believes his men can build on last season’s decent mid-table finish.

“I think we surprised ourselves last season,” said Bradley.

“We finished seventh which was probably better than we expected.

“So last season was good. The players got to know a bit more about what the Prem is all about, but we thought we were good enough to compete at that level.

“We have had a few good cups runs in the past and won the Meyler Cup, so we knew what we were coming up against. The plan is to improve upon that this year – a top-four spot would be very nice.

“We have done well in the first two games, it’s been a good start.”

Bradley – who is very much one of the senior members of the team – has been impressed with the form shown by some of the club’s younger players.

“We have a few young lads, who are up and coming,” Bradley said.

“They are taking their chance in the team.

“We have got an opening bowler called Harvey McNulty, who is only 16.

“Our wicketkeeper Adam Norris is 20 and he bats at six.

“We’ve also got a young overseas amateur from Australia called Tom Langshaw, so it’s all good.”

A good all-round performance last weekend put paid to Thornton Cleveleys and Bradley is hopeful of a similar outcome on Saturday when they travel to Penwortham.

“They are always a decent side,” he added. “We feel that last year, they were a very similar side to us.

“We beat them once, they beat us, so it should be a good game.”